Experiences of people with mental ill-health involved in family court or child protection processes: a rapid evidence review

Child protection Family Court Mental health Australia

This rapid evidence review identifies key specific programs or strategies that have been deployed to address issues of mental ill-health in family law and child protection service users. The authors also provide insights into how to best prevent or mitigate the effects of stigma and discrimination. Addressing stigma and better engagement of fathers and mothers with mental illness in child welfare and family relationships services requires multi-level foci on policy, attitudinal, and service level changes. The review outlined some key issues, implications, and potential principles that can underpin efforts to reduce stigma:

  1. Improve the focus on parenting (for both men and women) engaging with mental health services.
  2. Improve the focus on mental health and building parenting capacity for parents encountering family support and child protection services.
  3. Address intersecting, compounding stigma.
  4. Promote trauma-informed service models – for parents, children and young people.
  5. Be more prevention focused, based on a public health approach.
  6. Foster cross-sectoral collaboration.
  7. Build mental health literacy and disability awareness in the child protection and family law workforces.
  8. Develop rights-based practice frameworks.
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